This program is now closed.
The European Union Skilled Trades Employment Program (EUSTEP) was launched in 2006 as a pilot program that aimed to place foreign skilled trade workers in job openings in BC. EUSTEP was developed by the BCCA as a solution to the growing need for trained workers in British Columbia’s thriving construction industry. The goal of the project is not only to attract foreign journeypersons with unique skills, but also to increase the opportunity for Canadian apprentices in the skilled trades by filling the roles of experienced workers.
To date, EUSTEP has placed skilled workers from such countries as Germany, Mexico, Finland, Russia, the UK and the Philippines. In addition to sourcing candidates from Europe, EUSTEP has expanded to seek skilled tradespeople from Central and South America. The skills sets vary among the placed workers who include carpenters, roofers, bricklayers, rebar installers, glaziers and cabinetmakers among others. The placed workers are employed through a variety of work visas including the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the Youth Mobility Program (YMP), and temporary visas with the intent of permanent status.
After having placed a little over 140 foreign trained skilled workers directly with members EUSTEP has established the processes and communication channels necessary to start up again once the demand for skilled workers resumes in the future. While we still assist in individual cases and help temporary workers placed with our members get permanent status at this point there are no major recruitment initiatives for foreign workers.